Chancellor Malatras and SUNY Oswego President Stanley Announce Oswego County Health Department Lifts Precautionary Pause on In-Person Classes as Dining Hall and Services Remain Remote

October 2, 2020

SUNY Enhances System-Wide COVID-19 Tracker Showing Additional Trends Including 3-Day, 7-Day, and 14-Day Rolling Data from On Campus Testing

Oswego, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley today announced the Oswego County Health Department lifted the precautionary pause on in-person classes on campus as dining hall and services remain remote. Classes will resume in person on Monday, October 5. The campus has seen declining positive tests over the past two weeks and the county health department's review found no significant on-campus issues.

SUNY also updated its system-wide COVID-19 Tracker for its 64 campuses to provide even more transparency for students, faculty, staff, and the public. The update will now provide additional trends for all campus including testing results on a three, seven, and 14-day rolling basis, in addition to reviewing daily cases, totals for the fall semester, and its mandatory 14-day static periods.

"I credit the SUNY Oswego community, particularly our students, in keeping their campus open by proving that strict compliance to health safety protocols can flatten the curve," said Chancellor Malatras. "Today's progress at SUNY Oswego shows that by regular testing, tracking and acting on new cases, and enforcing health and safety rules, campus life can continue during the coronavirus pandemic. I am proud of our SUNY Oswego students for all of their efforts over the past two weeks, and I thank President Stanley, Oswego Mayor Bill Barlow, and the local health department for their continued leadership and collaboration during this time. Together, we can continue to keep the coronavirus in check by staying diligent."

While in-person classes for the fall semester are set to resume on Monday, President Stanley reaffirmed the suspension of athletics, Greek Life, in-person dining, and residence hall visitation for the remainder of the semester. SUNY Oswego will continue its robust pooled surveillance testing of students, faculty, and staff on campus. The campus has required quarantine and isolation space on campus, and trained college staff to routinely check on students testing positive for the coronavirus or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.

SUNY Oswego President Stanley said, "We must remain vigilant; we must each be accountable. We are returning to the classrooms, but we must not let our guard down. Our actions are critical to the continued safety of everyone in our community. Our students, faculty, and staff have collectively displayed to others that when we pull together, care for one another, and follow the rules and guidelines, we can bring our positive cases down and come out of a pause stronger and healthier than before. Let's encourage each other to continue taking all the precautions; let's keep doing the right thing."

Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow said, "The precautionary pause helped to drastically reduce the spread of COVID-19 on and around campus, and I commend the students, faculty, SUNY administration and Chancellor Malatras for working with local government by taking all steps necessary to protect our community. With the curve flattening, classes may resume, but we encourage our community to continue social distancing, wear a mask, and do your part to keep our data moving in a favorable direction. Moving forward, local government will continue working with Chancellor Malatras, President Stanley, and SUNY Oswego in partnership as one community to contain COVID-19."

SUNY campuses have administered more than 133,436 tests on campus since the fall semester began, with a positivity rate of 0.67 percent. Over the last seven days, SUNY campuses have conducted nearly 26,000 tests, with a positivity rate of 0.45 percent.

Per New York Department of Health guidance, whenever 100 individuals or five percent of a total on-campus population test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period, the location must immediately transition to 100 percent remote learning and limit on-campus activities for 14 days. SUNY Oswego's precautionary pause was announced before meeting the department's threshold when it reported it had 82 active COVID-19 cases on September 18, one week before the period would end on September 25. All SUNY campuses are currently testing and reporting for the 14-day period of September 26 through October 9. Total cases at SUNY Oswego from on-campus and off-campus testing is at 30 new positive cases.

SUNY Oswego students were required to test negative for COVID-19 before arriving on campus this semester. The college will continue to partner with Upstate Medical to complete regular pooled surveillance testing, as well as wastewater testing twice per week at buildings and residence halls on campus.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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